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6 December 2017 Fertility impairment with defective spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis in male zebrafish lacking androgen receptor
Haipei Tang, Yu Chen, Le Wang, Yike Yin, Gaofei Li, Yin Guo, Yun Liu, Haoran Lin, Christopher H.K. Cheng, Xiaochun Liu
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Abstract

The pivotal role of androgen receptor (AR) in regulating male fertility has attracted much research attention in the past two decades. Previous studies have shown that total AR knockout would lead to incomplete spermatogenesis and lowered serum testosterone levels in mice, resulting in azoospermia and infertility. However, the precise physiological role of ar in controlling fertility of male fish is still poorly understood. In this study, we have established an ar knockout zebrafish line by transcription activator-like effectors nucleases. Homozygous ar mutant male fish with smaller testis size were found to be infertile when tested by natural mating. Intriguingly, a small amount of mature spermatozoa was observed in the ar mutant fish. These mature spermatozoa could fertilize healthy oocytes, albeit with a lower fertilization rate, by in vitro fertilization. Moreover, the expression levels of most steroidogenic genes in the testes were significantly elevated in the ar mutants. In contrast, the levels of estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were significantly decreased in the ar mutants, indicating that steroidogenesis was defective in the mutants. Furthermore, the protein level of LHβ in the serum decreased markedly in the ar mutants when compared with wild-type fish, probably due to the positive feedback from the diminished steroid hormone levels.

Summary Sentence

In summary, our results provided unequivocal in vivo evidence for the requirement of functional ar in maintaining normal spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis, in ensuring normal fertility in male zebrafish.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com
Haipei Tang, Yu Chen, Le Wang, Yike Yin, Gaofei Li, Yin Guo, Yun Liu, Haoran Lin, Christopher H.K. Cheng, and Xiaochun Liu "Fertility impairment with defective spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis in male zebrafish lacking androgen receptor," Biology of Reproduction 98(2), 227-238, (6 December 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox165
Received: 16 May 2017; Accepted: 5 December 2017; Published: 6 December 2017
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KEYWORDS
androgen receptor
fertility
spermatogenesis
steroidogenesis
zebrafish
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